Responding to Drs Garrey and Nneka Dennie
EDITOR: In a spiteful invective designed to soothe the sagging spirits and sinking hearts of all those who took the vaccine on the ground that it is safe and effective, Drs Garrey and Nneka Dennie accused me of ignorance, failure to understand science, aligning with right-wing anti-vaxxers and worst of all, mass murder. Among the unfounded charges, the accusation of mass murder, as the Dennies well know is a bridge too far.
First things first. I am not an antivaxxer. I am a firm believer in transparency and informed consent. Moreover, I am opposed to taking the COVID 19 Vaccine developed in a rush and still under emergency authorization by the CDC.
Secondly, Dr Garrey Dennie, a historian, should understand and appreciate hesitancy among black and minority communities. We recommend Medical Apartheid and Deadly Monopolies by Harvard University medical researcher, Harriet Washington. His scepticism should have heightened since vaccine hesitancy is not only stubbornly widespread among Black people, but seems to be hardening in light of the lack of transparency and censor of opposing views displayed by major institutions, social media especially Twitter, Facebook, Google, major news networks and the governments. All of them have formed an unholy alliance to either shame, banish or beat, over their head, people who reveal the lightest shade with the current vaccine program.
Locally, what provisions are being made to meet our Vincentian public where they are. What measures are in place to follow up with persons after vaccination and monitor for side effects? Who is monitoring and reporting vaccinated Vincentian’s getting sick as opposed to the unvaccinated? Information is important to aid persons in making an informed choice, but with the opaqueness of our policymakers, it is no wonder our people are not trusting the process.
Dr Dennie alarmed by the galloping numbers of ‘infections and deaths’ displayed on his television set makes a fundamental error of confusing and conflating the efficacy of vaccines of yesteryear with those currently offered emergency authorization in the effort to control the Covid 19 disease. To make his case, he reminds us that ‘historically Vincentians have embraced vaccines to protect them from a range of diseases…mass vaccination against childhood diseases has been the single greatest factor responsible for increasing Vincentian life expectancy from 60 years in 1960 to 75 years today.’ He ought to remember the ancient saying ‘everything is not the same thing.’
But sadly, Dr Dennie who demands critical thinking of anyone with whom he engages does not demand the same rigour of himself. In a world where censor on the issue of vaccines are rife, he accepts as gospel whatever supports the vaxxers case and attempts to debunk anything to the contrary. He was particularly alarmed that I said that there is no verifiable evidence that the vaccine provides any more protection to vaccinated persons than those who are unvaccinated. He side-steps the question of why would anyone utilize a drug with an efficacy rate of 95 percent to fight an illness with a mortality rate of 1 percent. However, to make his case Dr Dennie takes us to the US Centres for Disease Control which he describes as the world’s foremost authority. He quoted the Centres as saying ‘vaccine efficacy and vaccine effectiveness measure the proportionate reduction in cases among the unvaccinated… Vaccine efficacy is used when a study is carried out under ideal conditions…Vaccine efficacy is measured by calculating the risk of disease among vaccinated persons and determining the percentage reduction in the risk of disease among the vaccinated person relative to the unvaccinated person. The greater the percentage reduction of illness in the vaccinated group, the greater the vaccine efficacy/effectiveness.’
And then he tells us that ‘vaccine efficacy is quantifiable and only available through a clinical trial. And for more than 100 years, this is the scientific and mathematical standard applied to measuring the efficacy of every single vaccine used anywhere in the world.’ He proceeds to cite information from the pharmaceutical companies which claim that their vaccines have a 90 percent plus efficacy rate. He completely negates the fact that these companies frequently lie about the efficacy of their drugs precisely because their sole intent is to maximise profits.,
While Dr Dennie touts the efficacy numbers of the Pfizer and other vaccines, information coming out of Israel, the country whose former leader Benjamin Netanyahu proclaimed it the world’s guinea pig, disclosed last week that the Pfizer vaccine has an efficacy rate of about 40 percent. Further, a Google search will reveal that drugs thought to have undergone rigorous testing and found safe and effective have had to be pulled from use after causing severe illness and death.
Further, Dr Dennie makes the false claim that the clinical studies virtually eliminated the vaccinated from being hospitalised, and they provided 100 per cent against death. If Dr Dennie’s claim is valid, he might want to explain why the American Federal Drug Administration (FDA) only provided Emergency Use Authorization for all Covid 19 drugs. He might want to tell us why a growing number of fully vaccinated persons are contracting the illness for a second time and are fully capable of infecting others. He might also want to explain why in Singapore, Israel and Seychelles, three of the most vaccinated nations on earth, vaccinated people account for 75, 65 and 60 per cent of those being reinfected? Dr Dennie might also have a word or two about why President Biden and the CDC reversed themselves regarding the proclamation that vaccinated people can prance around in public without wearing masks.
In light of those facts, do Dr Dennie and others still stubbornly hold to the nonsense that the Covid pandemic is now one of the unvaccinated? In light of the high reinfection rate among the vaccinated, why do the authorities world-wide seem hell-bent on vaccinating every man, woman, and child on planet earth?
In the face of the revelation that over 11,000 persons died as a result of taking the vaccine in the USA, 14,000 in countries comprising the European Union and 1450 in the UK, why does Dr Dennie continue to discredit himself with the bald assertions that no one has died from the vaccines?
Many experts have decried the unreliability of the PCR test. Last week, the US Centres for Disease Control disclosed that as of December 31, it would no longer use the PCR test as a tool for reliable detection of SAR-cov 2. Across the world, close to 200 million persons tested positive for the virus using this test.
Can Dr Dennie, such a strong believer in the scientific method, tell us what percentage of these were false positives? Can he say whether the test, granted emergency use authorisation, even in the face of its unreliability, amounted to an unsavoury and sinister attempt to prime the numbers to show that the viral infection was much worse than it really is?
Is it not true that many people who died with covid and not from covid were improperly counted as a covid death? Can Dr Dennie enlighten us as to the reason for the deliberate conflation? He must have heard of the Chicago young man who shot through his heart, was labelled as a Covid death? Can we conclude that some people have an interest in inflating the death toll?
If the efficacy and safety of the covid vaccines, can Dr Dennie hazard a guess as to why the manufacturers demanded and received immunity from liability?
Further, if this pandemic is primarily about health and safety, does Dr Dennie have an explanation for the declaration made by Nadhim Zahawi, UK vaccine czar, that persons jabbed with placebos during the vaccine trials will enjoy the same privileges as those who were jabbed?
I could play tit for tat and declare that name-calling, smearing by association with misfits and reactionaries, attempts at shaming and denunciation of those you disagree with as mass murderers are the last resort of scoundrels. True example of when you cannot argue the facts, argue the man. Still, I will never stoop so low in any intellectual engagement. I will do one better and invoke the wise words of Michelle Obama, ‘when they go low, we go high.’
Editor’s Note: Drs Dennie in their article of July 23, 2021 did not claim, as stated by Mr Thomas that “no one has died from the vaccines.” What they said was: “More crucial still, clinical studies demonstrated that the vaccines virtually eliminated the vaccinated from being hospitalized, and they provided 100 per cent protection against death from COVID19. This literally means that in the clinical studies NOT A SINGLE vaccinated person died from COVID19.”
Also, Mr Thomas’s claim that 11,000 people in the US, 14,000 persons in the EU and 1450 people in the UK have died “as a result of taking the vaccine” cannot be substantiated.